Caught between Imperial Manila and the Provincial Dynasties: Towards a New Fiscal Federalism

ASOG WORKING PAPER 17 - 004

30 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2016

See all articles by Ronald U. Mendoza

Ronald U. Mendoza

Ateneo De Manila University - Ateneo School of Government

Jude Ocampo

Ateneo de Manila University - Ateneo School of Government

Date Written: January 5, 2017

Abstract

Imperial Manila is often blamed for controlling public spending in at least three ways: a) by being the beneficiary of a disproportionatley larger share of public spending; b) by “controlling” public spending allocations to the LGUs; and c) by passing on unfunded mandates to the LGUs. On the other hand, LGUs — notably those farthest from the capital — have become dominated by political dynasties, in turn linked to deeper poverty and underdevelopment. These two forces often contribute to a center-periphery relationship that perpetuates (or at least fails to correct) bad governance and fiscal dependence. How do we break this impasse? This paper outlines the original rationale behind decentralization and efforts towards more effective governance and increased fiscal independence of local government in the Philippines. It then examines some of the historical data and evidence, with a focus on provinces, cities and municipalities. It discusses some of the potential links behind these patterns; and it concludes with a few very initial thoughts on possible reforms towards more effective fiscal federalism.

Keywords: federalism, decentralisation, imperial Manila, political dynasties

JEL Classification: D70, I39, O53, P16

Suggested Citation

Mendoza, Ronald U. and Ocampo, Jude, Caught between Imperial Manila and the Provincial Dynasties: Towards a New Fiscal Federalism (January 5, 2017). ASOG WORKING PAPER 17 - 004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2883981 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2883981

Ronald U. Mendoza (Contact Author)

Ateneo De Manila University - Ateneo School of Government ( email )

Katipunan Road
Loyola Heights
Quezon City, 1108
Philippines

Jude Ocampo

Ateneo de Manila University - Ateneo School of Government ( email )

Pacifico Ortiz Hall, Fr. Arrupe Road
Social Development Complex, Loyola Heights
Quezon City, Manila 1108
Philippines

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